The re-education of Rich Coleman
Re: Coleman raps smart-meter response from MLA, Feb. 5.
It seems, in light of Energy Minister Rich Coleman’s attempted correction of Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg’s statement (Smart meter opt-out ‘possible,’ Jan. 31) that there is, in fact, no clear policy on the issue of whether or not citizens will be forced to accept a smart meter.
We are not living under a dictatorship – I hope – and we are customers of BC Hydro. It should be incumbent upon BC Hydro to treat its customers with respect and reverential dignity, as any successful business would do.
Business succeeds when it observes the age-old rule: “The customer is always right.”
Paul Appenheimer, Surrey
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First they told us we want the HST without asking. Then they tell us we want smart meters without asking. Then they told us we want a casino in South Surrey without asking.
And now I’m so pleased to hear I have not only Energy Minister Rich Coleman to tell me what I want, but that BC Hydro is there to “re-educate” me should I need it.
Then they wonder why they are low in the polls.
Judy Peterson, White Rock
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I appreciate that Energy Minister Rich Coleman recognizes that those who have opposed the smart-meter program have legitimate concerns.
However, for him to express the need to educate us regarding the program brings up troubling concerns.
It is a fact that electromagnetic radiation from devices such as smart meters is harmful on a biological level and can lead to a variety of illnesses, including headaches, insomnia, skin rashes and cancer, to name a few.
Coleman’s offer of education is puzzling. One cannot re-educate away a fact. Any attempt to do so echoes troublingly of re-education camps and residential schools and attempts to instill beliefs that are against one’s will.
It is arrogance to believe that re-education is all that is required to change our minds. We have the facts. We know the risks. We are unwilling – for ourselves and our families – to take those risks.
Just because we oppose you, Mr. Coleman, does not mean that we are wrong and need to be re-educated.
Vicki Lightfoot, Summerland
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The confusion Energy Minister Rich Coleman has caused over smart meters in the past couple of weeks is wholly unsurprising. His own colleague, Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, claims Coleman said there would be an opt-out for homeowners who didn’t want smart meters, while Coleman now denies that.
If it’s true, it’s not the first time Coleman has done something like this.
Almost 400 meter readers in communities across B.C. are facing layoffs due to these meters. Coleman told meter readers in a CKNW interview that BC Hydro would look after them through re-training them into other jobs, but two years later they’re still waiting.
These workers have been unable to get Coleman or Premier Christy Clark to agree to meet on this issue, despite repeated requests. The ones who have not already received layoff notices continue to live in uncertainty and disappointment at this broken promise.
The entire smart-meter process has been characterized by the government’s unwillingness to listen to the concerns of British Columbians. If they want to change that, they have to make sure they live up to both promises: to ensure homeowners have the right to refuse smart meters, and to retrain meter readers so they can continue to support their families and communities.
Gwenne Farrell, COPE 378